Read “No ‘I’ in Travel?: Travel writing in the Trump era” in The Startup

Travel writing has a long and storied history, dating back to the time of Herodotus. But what is the place of travel writing in the 21st century?

Should travel writing be written by a traveler, or by people who live in the places being written about in question? Should travel writing use the first-person perspective? And how should travel journalists frame their coverage in the age of Trump?

I try to address these questions in my review of The Best American Travel Writing 2019 anthology: “No ‘I’ in Travel: Travel writing in the Trump era” published in The Start Up, Medium’s largest publication. Check it out at the above hyperlink; I hope it can at least distract you from the terrible public health crisis afflicting the globe.

Stay inside and wash your hands!

Read “The Rise of Skywalker’s Story Problem” on Medium

Two years ago, I wrote The Last Jedi had a ‘snark problem,’ a critique that resonated with more than 10k readers and was featured as an audio story (!).

Well, this time The Rise of Skywalker has a ‘story problem’—a cavalier attitude toward storytelling that renders the movie into a series of cheap workarounds which discount the intelligence of its audience and bely its creators’ indifference to their own work, showcasing a greater problem in popular entertainment more generally.

Read my latest Star Wars review on Medium (spoiler alert). Thanks for reading!

Read: “Amidst the specter of white nationalism, Reno feels the Bern”

On Friday the 13th, a day after the third 2019 Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders visited UNR, a campus with a checkered history of white nationalist activity.

You can read my take on the proceedings, the second in my series of creative nonfiction blog posts on presidential candidates visiting Reno, on Medium.

Thanks for reading! Follow my Medium profile for more essays on politics, movies, and storytelling.

Read “The Refugee Crisis Then”

Two years ago, I and five other Princeton journalism students had the opportunity to report on the refugee crisis in Greece. My main project—an investigation into Greek language education for refugees—was never published. Since then, recent NYTimes and WashPost reporting has revealed the situation has only become worse at the Athenian and island camps we visited.

I share my old project now as a historical document and as a call to action. While America seethes in intra-political turmoil, there are bigger things happening all over the world.

(For more reporting on this issue, check out NYTimes’ latest piece on Moria: https://www.nytimes.com/…/europe/greece-lesbos-moria-refuge…)

Read “Seven sci-fi models for the Space Force” on Medium

On August 9, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the U.S. will proceed with President Trump’s plan to create the United States Space Force, the sixth branch of the U.S. military. As you might guess, the announcement was met with controversy.

It’s a good thing that we have so many sci-fi stories that have considered the possibility of the militarization of space. In this blog post, I look at seven sci-fi stories with different takes on what a real-life Space Force might entail.

Read the story here. 

 

 

 

 

Read “The elusive star of Vergina” on Medium

Last June, I had the opportunity to visit Vergina, a small village in Northern Greece that is home to the tomb of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father. It was a tremendous experience, full of the power and splendor of ancient Macedonia. In terms of the difficulty in navigating Greece’s public transit options, however, it amounted to a modern odyssey. The perfect exp

To read my travelogue of my visit to Vergina, full of awe, frustration, and some witty observations, check it out on Medium:

“The elusive star of Vergina: To visit the tomb of Alexander the Great’s father, a modern odyssey”

More summer travel memoirs forthcoming on Medium. If you’re looking for a hint—next up will be along the lines of “Coming into the country with ‘Coming into the Country’.”

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Photo of fields of Vergina by Harrison Blackman.

Two ‘Solo’–themed posts now on Medium

In honor of the theatrical release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I’ve posted two relevant blog posts on Medium.

The first is “Other ‘Star Wars’ stories yet to be told,” a humor article detailing speculative treatments of other potential Star Wars spinoff films.

The second is my review of Solo: A Star Wars Story: “With ‘Solo,’ Star Wars rediscovers its offbeat sense of humor.” In this post, I explain how Solo follows a Star Wars tradition of placing tropes from the cultural zeitgeist through the warped mirror of the Star Wars universe.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Featured photo by Mohdammed Ali on Unsplash.